Substitutes for velvet and lame

by Ruth Nelson
(Seattle, WA, USA)

Velvet is gorgeous but hard to sew AND creates a lot of bulk in dolls clothes. Consider using the microfiber fabric called (in many places) doeskin. It looks suedelike/velvety on the front and knitlike on the back. It gives a velvet look but with many advantages: 1) much easier to sew; 2) does NOT fray in the slightest so edges don't need to be finished; 3) is completely washable.

For shinier fabric, consider cotton lame. I've found it in quilt shops and places like It cuts and sews like cotton but has a shinier dressier look to it which allows you to make fancier clothes but without the nuisance of real lame or metallics which can be tricky to sew and can fray. It is not totally cotton. You have to use a cooler iron, but it looks nice and finishes nicely and is washable.

Comments for Substitutes for velvet and lame

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by: Anonymous

I hadn't heard of cotton lame before, but googled it; from your description and what I found online, it sounds like this is what is known elsewhere as "Lurex" (e.g., at Joann Fabrics). Cotton thread woven with a metallic in the other direction.
This is a nice fabric, very pretty, but for doll clothes, not always a perfect choice, since its shiny quality is only apparent when looked at from different angles, usually when horizontal (as when laid flat, which is not how we display our dolls), and it appears dull and non-shiny otherwise.

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